Take Me Out To...Japan?

Japanese TV crew watches Kirland students watch the game...and do their homework

It’s the fourth game in the ACS baseball series. A Tuesday night crowd watching the Red Sox get crushed by Tampa Bay (sans enthusiasm) certainly doesn’t qualify as an unusual night in the Kirkland House grille. But this particular game attracted some out-of-town spectators, turning the grille and the game into a petri dish of strange interactions.

The visitors, who have come to Cambridge all the way from Japan, are not particularly interested in the ball game. Instead, they focus their attention on the student viewers.

No, they are not psychologists studying sports fanatics. According to a network executive who wishes to remain anonymous, their intent is to capture exciting footage of intelligent student fans in the U.S., in order to show that “top notch smart people can be here” watching major league baseball. Unfortunately. the students are more interested in writing their Justice response papers than watching every pitch.

After emphasizing several times that they do have permission to invade student space, the crew of three gets to work filming (several times) the dramatic entrance of a reporter into the midst of the completely apathetic group. (FM does not speak Japanese, therefore it is entirely possible that the commentary is actually some form of psychoanalysis.)

Of course, viewers in Japan won’t be pleased watching this humdrum scene, so the crew kindly asks the students to look away from their laptops for a minute and cheer loudly while they are filming. On the fourth take, a loud roar finally spontaneously emanates from the grille couches. During a ball. And the Sox are still losing 3-0.

Satisfied with the cheering, the visitors allow the students to return to their multitasking. But still curious about why the game is not Harvardian’s first priority, the interviewers harass several students, who reluctantly look up from their MacBooks long enough to reply sheepishly, “I’m writing a paper for school?”